Software Development in Eastern Europe: Where and How to Hire the Absolute Best Developers!

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Eastern Europe has a lot going for it, including amazing scenery, rich history, and delectable cuisines.  But add one more item to the list of its top qualities: highly skilled software developers.

The primary driver of rising demand for software development in Eastern Europe is a significant shortage of available talent worldwide combined with a corporate shift toward digital transformation. Almost every company requires software of some sort, but the vast majority do not want or need to employ an in-house software development team. As a result, companies frequently relocate software development functions to areas with an abundant pool of talent like Eastern Europe.

Another reason Eastern Europe is a software development darling is the region’s high levels of English proficiency, especially when compared to other traditional offshoring regions.  Having so many more developers who can communicate fluently in English makes it much easier to provide technical training.

Do you want to tap into all the awesome developer talent in Eastern Europe? TurnKey can put together the right software development team for you.

So we’ve established that software development in Eastern Europe is all the rage.  But now let’s dig a bit more into the “why” behind that, as well as which countries are ideal for recruiting the best software developers.

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Charting Eastern Europe's Role in the Software Development Industry

How can we truly gauge Eastern Europe’s role as a hub for finding and employing top software engineers? Here are the key stats! 

#1. Abundant tech universities

The presence of a host of technical universities famous for computer programming is a significant contributor to the region’s talent boom. For example, there is Ukraine’s National Technical University “KPI,” Poland’s AGH University of Science and Technology, and Romania’s University POLITEHNICA. And behind these big three are a wide range of other universities that may be less well known but provide the same high level of engineering education.

#2. Even more abundant tech graduates 

Eastern Europe prides itself on being the region with the most highly skilled software developers.  Indeed, the universities mentioned above produce many developers each year. For instance, over 17,500 software developers in Ukraine are churned out into the labor force yearly. This number is expected to increase every year. (Congrats, grads!)

#3. Favorable government policies 

The increasingly attractive nature of software development in Eastern Europe is further bolstered by the Government’s massive investment in the sector and its policies.

The governments of Eastern European countries are doling out incentives to tech companies and startups to attract tech employers to their countries.

For example, Ukraine has established a dynamic atmosphere to attract employees and enterprises, and Poland is marketing tax breaks to entice software firms to relocate to their countries.

The result of these deliberate policies is that global giants such as Google, Oracle, IBM, Deloitte, and others have chosen Eastern Europe as their primary destination for outsourcing software development.

In high numbers, other smaller companies have also chosen Eastern Europe as their go-to destination for all things tech. This underscores the fact that the Eastern Europe market is becoming more attractive for hiring qualified developers.

Why is the Eastern European Tech Market So Attractive?

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The significant popularity of the Eastern European tech market is due to a plethora of factors: 

#1. Highly skilled talent 

When you outsource your development project to Eastern European developers, you gain access to an outstanding talent pool and collaborative teams that have perfected various computer languages. According to research, Eastern Europe has around 6.1 million skilled developers. This demonstrates the availability of specialists with a wide range of qualifications.

Moreover, the skilled pool of software engineers in Eastern Europe is constantly expanding. You can now easily employ a team that works with cutting-edge technologies – such as Big Data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, and cloud-based applications–or works on online or mobile applications.

#2. Top coding expertise compared to other regions 

Eastern European programmers are routine champions in coding competitions due to investments in technology education and master classes. Programmers in Eastern Europe rely on many programs, such as Lviv IT School and tech hubs, to upgrade their skills after earning a university degree. As a result, coders from Ukraine, Poland, Romania, and Moldova frequently outperform others with regard to coding.

Also, Eastern European programmers have the highest web development and custom software development ranking on platforms like Hackerrank and TopCoder.

#3. Time zone 

Coordination of time zones is a priority with distributed teams. Designing a fluid workflow that incorporates synchronous and asynchronous jobs is difficult when time zones are too far apart. Working hours in Eastern Europe are generally a handy time zone for remote collaboration. For example, if your company is in Western Europe, the divergence is almost non-existent (1 to 3 hours). If you’re in the United States, time zones on the West Coast are around a nine-hour difference compared to about 6 on the East Coast.

Indeed, location and time zones are both convenient, even if you’re on the West Coast—the benefit is you have a team that works while you sleep. It’s also easy to travel to the region, and it’s easy to communicate given the high English fluency.

#4. Affordability

Due to a lower cost of living and reduced tax burdens, salaries for software developers in Eastern Europe are significantly less than in America or Western Europe.  This means companies can more easily scale their team in Eastern Europe because budgets go farther.

#5. Better culture fit

Because of the region’s western influence, Eastern European business etiquette is similar to that of North America and Western Europe. This makes it easier for clients to engage and work more seamlessly due to cultural similarities, making company operations and transactions more efficient.

Furthermore, Eastern European software developers are often familiar with Western legislation and regulations. As a result, there are fewer compliance difficulties.

Worried about having a cultural mismatch in your workforce? Let us help you hire developers who will fit like a glove.

Which Countries in Eastern Europe Are Best for Offshore Software Development?

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Eastern Europe is leading the race for offshore software development. However, not all countries of that region are equally ranked in software development expertise; knowing which country to pick will help set you up for success. Let’s have a peek at the nations leading the pack:

#1. Romania

The Romanian economy is one of the fastest growing amongst top EU countries, with the tech sector being one of the top contributors. It is anticipated that Romania’s tech sector will grow to 12% of GDP in 2025, up from 6% currently. 

As an EU member, Romania is one of Europe’s largest outsourcing markets, primarily focused on outsourcing services to the United States and Europe. A.T. Kearney ranked it 28th in the 2019 Global Services Location Index, and its foreign partners refer to it as an “outsourcing valley.”

Romania offers offshore software development services to big technology businesses such as Gameloft, HP, and Oracle.

Key facts about Romania’s tech market that makes outsourcing software development to the country a wise decision:

  • It boasts over 119,100 tech professionals.
  • It has over 430 software companies.
  • The Romanian government offers incentives for tech enterprises by eliminating the 16% income tax on software development specialists. Furthermore, R&D companies pay no income tax during the first ten years. This allows businesses to obtain developer services at a lower cost.
  • Romania boasts a highly educated and talented workforce pool, as well as some of the world’s greatest computer science and technological universities. Every year, the region produces over 7,000 tech graduates.
  • Romania even has its own regional brand. Cluj Napoca, one of its primary tech hubs, is known as the “Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe.”

#2. Poland

Poland’s software development market is one of the fastest expanding in Eastern Europe. With eight developers per 1,000 residents, this country boasts a large talent pool of software development expertise. Every year, some 30,000 tech graduates enter the labor market.

Poland is a significant provider of software development, HR, finance, and accounting outsourcing services to firms such as Microsoft, Apple, and Google. The country’s greatest technological revenue comes from software development services, software distribution, and equipment sales. Poland’s tech market is predicted to reach 3 billion by 2023, with annual growth of 50 to 10%.

Poland’s services are quite popular in Western European companies since its developers are frequently fluent in English, German, French, and Spanish – in addition to Polish.

Key facts about Poland’s tech market that make it highly attractive for software development outsourcing:

  • Companies in Poland adhere to European Union standards for intellectual property protection and data security, as well as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Poland has more than 350,000 software developers.
  • The country has over 1,300 software companies.
  • Poland is ranked 26 in the world for the best educational system, higher than any other Eastern European outsourcing destination.
  • Poland ranked second among Eastern European countries with a score of 70.74 on the US Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 International IP Index, which measures how tightly it regulates intellectual property. This score and ranking demonstrate that it is a secure country for outsourcing.

#3. Ukraine

Ukraine frequently ranks among the top worldwide destinations for offshore software development.

Between 2020 and 2021, the Ukrainian software development business exported $6.8 billion in software development services, accounting for nearly 4% of the country’s GDP.

Here are the reasons why Ukraine is a perfect offshore development destination:

  • The government actively advances the technology sector by streamlining the legal system and financial regulations, making them more accessible to international firms. According to Clutch, the most important Ukrainian outsourcing companies work in the eCommerce, Enterprise, and FinTech sectors.
  • Citizens of the United States and the European Union do not require a visa to visit Ukraine for a short amount of time (90 days–180 days). This is particularly useful for corporate managers who want to keep an eye on their offshore software development teams or other operations.
  • Over 56% of all software engineers and tech professionals are employed by tech outsourcing or offshoring firms. This means that the workforce is highly customized to this model.
  • Ukraine’s software development sector is one of the most competitive in the world, focusing on high-quality developer talent. Indeed, Ukrainian coders are among the world’s most skilled software specialists.

#4. Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is another EU member with a strong technological capacity. High technology is one of the Czech Republic’s main businesses, with tech exports totaling .78 billion.  

Important facts about Czech Republic’s outsourcing viability:

  • The country has about 165,000 tech experts.
  • The Czech Republic has over 700 software companies.
  • The country boasts a rapidly rising tech talent pool, with 7,000 tech graduates each year and a density of 10 developers per 1000 residents..
  • The country is known for its high-quality education and boasts a literacy level of 99.83%.
  • As a member of the EU, the Czech Republic provides a stable environment for company growth. Furthermore, it has tried to keep the corporate tax rate low to spur innovation and development.

#5. Bulgaria

Outsourced software development accounted for 6.6% of Bulgaria’s GDP, or $3.8 billion, in 2020. Not surprisingly, it is one of the most important Eastern European countries for tech outsourcing.

Here’s why outsourcing to Bulgaria is worth considering:

  • The Bulgarian government provides tax benefits to international enterprises, including the lowest corporate income tax rate in the EU (10%).
  • Bulgaria’s geographic location is ideal for partnership with Western European enterprises. Furthermore, Bulgarian employees often communicate effectively in English, German, and French.
  • The country boasts a skilled workforce, and several colleges offer courses on ‘Outsourcing Projects and Companies.’ As a result, Bulgarian professionals have a strong understanding of the abilities required by Western companies.

#6. Hungary

The software development sector accounts for around 6% of the Hungarian economy and employs approximately 80,100 people. 

Other facts that make Hungary a perfect destination for software development outsourcing:

  • According to Clutch, there are 49 agencies offering a wide range of services, beginning with web and mobile development and progressing to expertise in AI, blockchain, ML, and IoT.
  • More than 100 global corporations house their research and development facilities in Hungary, which is a strong testament to the country’s value.

#7. Slovakia

Slovakia has a large number of development specialists focusing on digital business transformation, startup launch and growing, and cybersecurity.

Facts that underscore the viability of Slovakia as a software development outsourcing destination include:

  • Though a small country overall in terms of population, Slovakia is nonetheless home to around 40,000 competent developers.
  • According to Clutch, 45 companies in Slovakia offer outsourcing services.
  • The Slovak development sector has over 92% of professionals who are fluent English speakers.

Software Development in Eastern Europe: How to hoose the Right Country for Offshoring

Want to hire developers from Eastern Europe but don’t know how to choose the right country to get started?  Here’s a quick checklist to use:

#1. Decide on the technology stack required for your project

Each Eastern European country has its unique technical capabilities in terms of native software engineers.

For example, according to HackerRank, Ukrainian developers rank first in security and fifth in mathematics and distributed systems, while Polish engineers are first in Java and among the top five in the following domains: algorithms, tutorials, Python, and Shell.

Therefore, it’s important that you decide on what tech stack you will use since this will make sure you are focusing in the right direction.

#2. Determine your budget

The hourly rates of developers in different Eastern European nations vary a bit due to the cost of living. However, this has no effect on quality. Examine the different software development rates by nation and select the one that best matches your budget, particularly when you think about it within the context of a fully scaled team.

#3. Choose the right partner

When it comes to top software businesses in Europe, no matter which country you decide to outsource software development to, ensure you have extensively examined and pre-vetted your offshore partners. Not all companies are created equal, and many different models exist.  Find a partner – like TurnKey!– that has deep experience in Eastern Europe and custom builds your team from scratch to make sure you have a perfect from the start. 

Need the best partner in the business?  It’s called TurnKey.  Leverage all our experience in Eastern Europe to drive your success.

How to Hire Software Developers in Eastern Europe

How to Hire Software Developers in Eastern Europe

Although there are many software developers in Eastern Europe, they can be hard to find and recruit. Some typical strategies include:

  • Review platforms: Review platforms are good sources of getting linked with developers and companies. You can read reviews of both and hire those whose reviews entice you.
  • Freelancer sites: Many software engineers can be found on freelance platforms likeUpwork, Toptal, Arc.Dev etc. The only downside is that most of the developers on these platforms prefer short term or part time work, which is challenging if you are trying to build a fully dedicated team.
  • Job boards: There are a number of job-based platforms where you can hire remote professionals to handle your projects, such as RemoteOK, We Work Remotely,, Working Nomads, and Jobspresso. However, professionals on these job boards are not scrutinized, so you’ll have to painstakingly interview them to pick your team. 
  • Offshore development partners: You can do it all yourself and go bonkers, or you can contact offshore development companies like TurnKey to help you choose from the large pool of developers. The great part about hiring TurnKey is that we offshore your way—something we call Yourshoring. Since we’ve walked in your shoes and know how hard it is to find software engineers who fit your company culture perfectly, we can reduce the pain of hiring and produce results 50% faster than our competitors. We created Yourshoring for companies who want to put together a development team away from home and still be able to call the shots.When you work with TurnKey, rest assured that you’ll have no trouble managing your team and most importantly, you won’t have to deal with high attrition rates. We have a dedicated HR crew that ensures your hired engineers are satisfied with their working environment and won’t churn.

Save time and money and hire TurnKey.  This is the fast track to software development success in Eastern Europe. 


Why should we hire an offshore team in Eastern Europe for my company or startup?

Eastern European countries are renowned for their strong technical education and deep talent pool. Moreover, due to a lower cost of living and more flexible tax regimes, developers in Eastern Europe are also surprisingly affordable compared to developers in other regions in the world (especially America and Western Europe).

What are the best countries in Eastern Europe to hire offshore software developers?

Ukraine, Romania, Poland, and Bulgaria are among the best Eastern European countries for software development outsourcing. All of these countries have a high literacy level, strong English proficiency, and large populations of highly skilled developers.

August 6, 2023

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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